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July 4th, 2018, 11:58
Reading this thread, it seems you and me have similar problems when it comes to writing games!

I am a programmer for 15 years now and I got into this due to my love of games. I always wanted to write a game as hobby and I have started like 5 or 6 times to write one but never ended up finishing it for one reason or another. Looking back, my problem is that as I start, the features I wanted to added get out of control and the whole thing becomes way too complicated. I also tend to get side tracked with technical nature of the OS and all the other stuff. So the whole thing becomes too complicated and I abandon the whole thing!

In order to finish the next game I write, I have told myself that it will be DOS/ASCII based game only! No graphical interface at all. It will be simple loot based dungeon crawler with turn based combat. It will only have 3 classes (fighter, mage, thief). Also not party based. Its simple story, you are held prisoner in dungeon and you have to escape and thats it! The meat of the game is design an interesting combat system. This is where most of the time will get spent.

Once the above game is FINISHED, then and only then I will expand in number of directions. First, expansion is figure out how to generate random dungeons so you have replayability. Second, turn it into party based and add more classes. Third, add more fleshed out story and NPC interactions. After all of this is done now, think about upgrading the graphics from DOS/ASCII into 2d tiles.

As you can see, graphic is the last part of the upgrade. The reason for this is that, I have always made the mistake of thinking, worrying and doing the graphics engine first. This is part which get complicated very fast and get me to side track very easily. This is what overwhelms me and I never really get to the real GAME!

Based on what I have read here, it seems you have done more than me in terms of progression with your past games so maybe DOS/ASCII is setting the bar too low for you. However it also seems you have never "finished" a game as well. Why not set the bar low and set your self just 1 month and write a very simple DOS/ASCCI game finish it and SHARE it here?

We will act as your project mangers and QA team!
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July 4th, 2018, 12:08
Originally Posted by lostforever View Post
Reading this thread, it seems you and me have similar problems when it comes to writing games!

I am a programmer for 15 years now and I got into this due to my love of games. I always wanted to write a game as hobby and I have started like 5 or 6 times to write one but never ended up finishing it for one reason or another. Looking back, my problem is that as I start, the features I wanted to added get out of control and the whole thing becomes way too complicated. I also tend to get side tracked with technical nature of the OS and all the other stuff. So the whole thing becomes too complicated and I abandon the whole thing!

In order to finish the next game I write, I have told myself that it will be DOS/ASCII based game only! No graphical interface at all. It will be simple loot based dungeon crawler with turn based combat. It will only have 3 classes (fighter, mage, thief). Also not party based. Its simple story, you are held prisoner in dungeon and you have to escape and thats it! The meat of the game is design an interesting combat system. This is where most of the time will get spent.

Once the above game is FINISHED, then and only then I will expand in number of directions. First, expansion is figure out how to generate random dungeons so you have replayability. Second, turn it into party based and add more classes. Third, add more fleshed out story and NPC interactions. After all of this is done now, think about upgrading the graphics from DOS/ASCII into 2d tiles.

As you can see, graphic is the last part of the upgrade. The reason for this is that, I have always made the mistake of thinking, worrying and doing the graphics engine first. This is part which get complicated very fast and get me to side track very easily. This is what overwhelms me and I never really get to the real GAME!

Based on what I have read here, it seems you have done more than me in terms of progression with your past games so maybe DOS/ASCII is setting the bar too low for you. However it also seems you have never "finished" a game as well. Why not set the bar low and set your self just 1 month and write a very simple DOS/ASCCI game finish it and SHARE it here?

We will act as your project mangers and QA team!
Yes, we definitely have the same problem

I suspect we're not the only ones around here.

My problem, apart from being a lazy son of a bitch, is that I've always had an excuse.

Maybe I had a girlfriend and wanted to buy a house. Maybe I was living somewhere too expensive to risk giving up a regular job. Maybe this or maybe that.

But I've run out of excuses - and I feel I've run out of time. I need to develop this while my brain is still passionate about games.

It's now or never, essentially.

Yeah, I get what people are saying about text-based games - but I honestly don't agree it's all that different from a development standpoint.

I mean, once you establish a level of art/assets that you can achieve - the rest of the work of actually creating art is easy. Well, not easy - but you know it'll be done if you keep at it.

For me, the challenge is the code and making the game do exactly what I want it to do.

Since I have to learn C# at the same time I'm developing it, it will mean a shit-ton of wasted effort and redoing stuff over and over.

That would still be the case with text-based games - and it comes with the major downside of not being commercially viable.

This time, I intend to be smart about how I begin this. I intend to figure out as much about my game in terms of mechanics, skills, items and so on before I even start coding.

Then I will be smart about how I create classes for everything - instead of constantly adjusting stuff and redoing things because I obsess over optimization.

Obviously, I will miss a lot of things - and I fully expect to start over, to some degree, here and there.

But I will take it seriously on a level I haven't before - and the reason I will quit my job is simply to motivate myself. To force myself.

The thought of getting another conventional job will almost certainly help me keep my focus.

Right now, I don't know exactly when I will quit. I don't want to quit until I've started work on the game proper - and I want to feel that I'm doing well with progress.

Every month, I'm setting aside a reasonable chunk of cash - and the more the better, because the game could easily take more than a year to finish.

But I suspect that I will quit before the end of this year.
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July 4th, 2018, 13:51
Originally Posted by Darth Tagnan View Post
The original plan was to do this with my brother, but he's hopeless.

My problem with a quick cash-in is that I wouldn't know how to maintain interest in such a thing - and I don't have the slightest idea what "casual" games should be doing.

When I look at popular casual or "very small" indie games - I simply don't get it. I don't have that talent.

I've saved up enough money to "survive" for about a year entirely without support - but in Denmark we also still have a pretty good support system for the unemployed.

It's just that I hate depending on that system - and would like to avoid it as much as possible.

My problem is that I'm really, really tired of my job. It's not a bad job and I get paid well enough - I just feel dead inside.

I've already waited way too long - and as long as I keep my job, I know I won't be able to maintain focus on developing a game.

I've had a few "periods of time" along the way, where I've made great progress on some of my projects - usually during the summertime where nothing much happens at work. But I always end up getting distracted by work when it picks up again.

But your advice is sound, I know that.

Thanks.
I think that if you have good teammates at work it is important to keep in touch with them if toy do decide to leave. Working on your own can be very lonely…

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July 4th, 2018, 13:55
Originally Posted by Pladio View Post
I think that if you have good teammates at work it is important to keep in touch with them if toy do decide to leave. Working on your own can be very lonely…

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Hehe, I work better alone, trust me

I like my co-workers well enough - and I think they actually like me more than the other way around, but I'm always very careful to separate my personal life from my work.

I'm a very unusual person when it comes to "societal norms" - but I guess that's hardly a surprise.

I have my dog, a few close friends and my family. That's more than enough for me, in terms of a social life.

Some people are into the wide - and I'm into the deep. I can't do both, really.

I'm taking a break from girlfriends - as I haven't had the best of luck in my last few relationships.

Which is another reason this is the right moment to go all in with this project

But thank you for your concern
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July 4th, 2018, 15:24
So based on the current feedback, what are your thoughts and have they changed compared to when you opened the thread?

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July 4th, 2018, 15:41
Originally Posted by Pladio View Post
So based on the current feedback, what are your thoughts and have they changed compared to when you opened the thread?

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Yeah, now I'm considering a more card-oriented game overall. Perhaps a dedicated card game - because that seems commercially viable and would, in many ways, be much easier to do.

That said, I wasn't looking to have my mind changed - just looking for input or hear thoughts about the whole thing
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July 4th, 2018, 16:04
Have you played Hand of Fate 1 or 2? Think it's a rather interesting approach to card game + rpg. May be an inspiration.
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July 4th, 2018, 16:17
Originally Posted by Cacheperl View Post
Have you played Hand of Fate 1 or 2? Think it's a rather interesting approach to card game + rpg. May be an inspiration.
I've seen screenshots of it, but I don't really know what it's about. Looks like they have some very pretty 3D stuff in it, though.

One of my past projects was a somewhat freeform adaption of the TCG called Middle-Earth - The Wizards.

But that was more of a strategy/RPG than a straight-up card-game.

But I think I might be able to incorporate card aspects into my game in certain ways, to get around my art limitations.
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July 4th, 2018, 20:49
Ok, let me try to give you the main idea of Hand of Fate:
The player specifies a deck of cards from those he has available.
A random selection from that deck determines each discrete step of a "dungeon" that you progress through (in a rogue-like fashion).
(That means: By specifying the deck, the player can influence what kind of dungeon he will experience.)

Another random selection from the deck determines your starting gear, and what you may find along the way.

As you progress through the dungeon, you may have all kinds of encounters. If these lead to a fight, the "action" part of the game starts.

After the last fight (boss fight), the dungeon is finished and you can specify a new deck, start the next one.

The nice thing about this is that everything but the actual fights are pretty much on an abstract, card-game level. They did not have to design a large 3D world. The occasional fights take place in rather small areas, so not that much work in comparison. And of course, the card collection thing tickles the addictions of us poor players.

Not saying you have to copy Hand of Fate. Actually, don't. It is sometimes a bit frustrating (I hate the "survival" aspect of food/healing you have to find along the way). But it presents a good example of how cards can substitute for otherwise more complex game elements.
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July 4th, 2018, 20:55
I haven't read the last page, but did you consider joining a small (but established) indie developer in Denmark? Provides you with some stability while getting some experience in (game) development. At the right time you can then go on your own, or pitch your ideas inside the indie developer.
Last edited by ilm; July 8th, 2018 at 00:00.
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July 4th, 2018, 22:17
Originally Posted by Wisdom View Post
I'd find out exactly what your mother would pay for.
Its a great idea on market research.

Card style mini strategy games work well.
Games similar to knights and merchants or the alchemist or regalia seem to be short.

Scope creep will always be a factor for you given your tendencies displayed here. Have hard deadlines and a check-in partner to keep you on track. Otherwise you may end up like @GothicGothicness.. or worse… Clive

Share pictures of your bunker if you do get to that stage. I can't imagine the masses of paperwork required in Germany for such a construction.
Ouch, well, I guess you do have kind of a point. But to be perfectly honest, I think time is my problem and not so much scope creep. Scope creep is a major problem in a lot of other projects though.
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July 4th, 2018, 22:18
Originally Posted by Darth Tagnan View Post
I work better alone
Same here. I find having to work with other people adds another stress and dynamic I don't need.
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July 4th, 2018, 22:22
Originally Posted by Caddy View Post
Same here. I find having to work with other people adds another stress and dynamic I don't need.
I can usually work well with others if they concede that I'm always right
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July 4th, 2018, 22:23
Originally Posted by GothicGothicness View Post
Ouch, well, I guess you do have kind of a point. But to be perfectly honest, I think time is my problem and not so much scope creep. Scope creep is a major problem in a lot of other projects though.
How dare you spend time with your family instead of working on your game! Having a life is unacceptable.
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July 5th, 2018, 11:39
Originally Posted by ilm View Post
I haven't read the last page, but did you consider joining a small (but established) indie developer in Danmark? Provides you with some stability while getting some experience in (game) development. At the right time you can then go on your own, or pitch your ideas inside the indie developer.
Yeah, I've thought about it - but I don't want to put myself in another situation where I don't have full control.

That's one of the primary issues I have with my job. I feel like there's so much going to waste because the wrong people are in charge (especially at the top level) - and it's such a struggle to make changes or improve things, because there's so much ego involved with most people.

When I'm at work, I do my utmost not to invest myself or my ego - because I'm a very, very sensitive person underneath my "shield" - and I wouldn't last long with a big investment.

So, I focus almost exclusively on solutions - and how to improve things to the best of my ability.

Sadly, that's ultimately pretty rare. I find that even the most talented people tend to have their ego involved to a degree where the result suffers if they're challenged.

That's when emotions get in the way of the rational solution or direction.

I'm so, so sick of that

Also, I apparently have this highly undesirable ability to challenge people (or make them feel like they're being challenged and need to prove something) even if it's the last thing I want to do.
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July 7th, 2018, 15:28
Bought RPG Maker MV some year ago, it was on sale, just to see if liked working in it, what i could do etc. It was quite easy to use and had good tutorials. I created a (super) simple game with my own (test) graphics where i could walk around.

I would like to develop something in 2D, especially art / atmosphere and environments.. you can very likely finish a game in 1 year using RPG maker, probably months (there's graphics for most stuff that you can just download for it.) There are a few decently successful games done with it, for example To the Moon.
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July 7th, 2018, 15:34
Have you tried godotengine, unity or unreal ? Just curious how difficult they are to work with. I'm thinking of trying something with godotengine but for the life of me i can't think of anything interesting. Maybe i should try something trivial like spades just to learn the engine and think of a deeper rpg that isn't just a rehash of something already done. I guess i'm side tracking the topic but am curious if you actually explored any of the game engines out there.
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July 7th, 2018, 17:25
Originally Posted by vurt View Post
Bought RPG Maker MV some year ago, it was on sale, just to see if liked working in it, what i could do etc. It was quite easy to use and had good tutorials. I created a (super) simple game with my own (test) graphics where i could walk around.

I would like to develop something in 2D, especially art / atmosphere and environments.. you can very likely finish a game in 1 year using RPG maker, probably months (there's graphics for most stuff that you can just download for it.) There are a few decently successful games done with it, for example To the Moon.
RPG Maker is a little bit too specific for what I want to do - but your plan is not bad
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July 7th, 2018, 17:29
Originally Posted by you View Post
Have you tried godotengine, unity or unreal ? Just curious how difficult they are to work with. I'm thinking of trying something with godotengine but for the life of me i can't think of anything interesting. Maybe i should try something trivial like spades just to learn the engine and think of a deeper rpg that isn't just a rehash of something already done. I guess i'm side tracking the topic but am curious if you actually explored any of the game engines out there.
I've used XNA, Unity and a little bit of Unreal Engine.

Unity has been, by far, the easiest to work with - and given the scope of my project, it seems like the perfect fit.

I would have preferred Unreal - because I simply like the efficiency and slick look of the engine and included assets, but it's not as well documented in terms of online tutorials.

I suspect it's not that much harder to work with, I just can't keep switching around.

Unity is fine for my needs. Much, much better than what I used to work with

As I'm really not a code-guy - I need to find the easiest compromise that I can get down and work with really fast.

My thing is game design - and all the rest will be hard work for me.

Fortunately, I do have some experience and formal education with programming - and it's sort of well suited for the kind of mind I have, but I still don't enjoy it all that much.
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July 7th, 2018, 19:26
If you try godotengine let me know how it compares to unity. I suspect it will have the least amount of documentation/available assets but conversely it is completely free if you ever go commercial. I am a coder by heart but have never dealt with graphics so using an engine that handles the graphics would be a plus as long as the interface for extension is clean.
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